Following a thorough investigation, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) concluded that the benefits of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh its risks.
In early March, a wave of mistrust AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine took over Europe. After Denmark, Norway and Iceland stopped its massive application arguing the appearance of cases of thrombosis as a serious side effect, 16 EU countries decided stop vaccination completely with this biological.
And although the EMA launched an evaluation and concluded in mid-March that “the number of thromboembolic events in vaccinated people is not higher than the observed number in the general population ”, the resumption of vaccination still raises suspicions among national authorities and the general public.
This Wednesday, April 7, the EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) published the conclusion of an exhaustive review of the cases reported in Europe, considering that the appearance of thrombi is a “very rare side effect” of the vaccine, so that “the overall benefits of preventing COVID-19 outweigh the potential risks of side effects”Of the immunization developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.
Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP
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The conclusion of the EMA is based on the analysis of 86 cases of thrombosis reported in the European Union, of which 18 had fatal conclusions, a figure the agency considers to be within the generally observed number, since AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine has been given to approximately 25 million people in the EU and the UK.
And although most of thromboembolic events occurred in women under 60 years of age, the EMA considers that there are no identified risk factors for this side effect.
After a first meeting where the 27 member countries participated to establish a position in this regard, it will be the decision of each health organ to continue with the application of the vaccine in the national territory or adapt their vaccination schedules by age group based on available evidence.
Such is the case of the United Kingdom, which made the decision to restrict the application of the vaccine to those under 30 years of age, while Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland set similar restrictions, which limit its application to older adults 55, 60 and 65 years, depending on the country.
Thanks to the mechanism COVAX For global vaccine distribution, AstraZeneca and Oxford development has reached at least 111 countries, where it has been applied to more than 200 million people.
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